Welcome back to the Role Playing Games PDF Spotlights column, where we look at some of the PDF’s that have been released in the past week that have caught my eye. This week we have an assortment of core rulebooks, microgames, settings, sourcebooks and adventures for a variety of genres, as well as a couple of gaming magazines.
All of the below were released in PDF between 19th-25th February 2022.
By Possum Creek Games
We are ghosts. We are in a house we don’t recognize. We have a handful of memories, and these memories are brief moments and flashes of barely something. The Living are nearby, and they encroach on our space, making their demands. Worse, there is a Thing in the Walls. It is ancient, inhuman. Hungry, yearning. Angry.
But this is Our Haunt now. This is our home, and we only have each other as family. If we take care of each other, good things will happen. We just know it.
Our Haunt is a tabletop RPG about a family of ghosts built on the Beloning Outside Belonging system, inspired by games like Dream Askew/Dream Apart, Wanderhome, and Balikbayan: Returning Home. It’s a rules-light engine with no dice and no masters, focused around tokens and community play.
In Our Haunt, we will play as one of the following playbooks:
- The Loved, who remains in this world hoping to find their lost love — or at least, honor their memory.
- The Betrayed, murdered by violent means, trapped as a ghost until they get revenge.
- The Faceless, who died so long ago they can barely remember their true form.
- The Returned, who has seen the worlds beyond death and is here to spread the word.
- The Doll, trapped inside the body of a doll and unable to express their true self.
- The Cat, or the ghost of a cat, wandering these halls among these strange humans.
Once we’ve made our characters, we’ll develop the haunted house we live in before exploring the strange and creepy world that exists around us. Our Haunt is perfect for oneshot or campaign play, with sessions lasting between 2-4 hours. While we play, we’ll discover memories of our past, tussle with the living, dodge the ancient monstrosities that lurk beyond the veil, and support each other in a strange and liminal half-world.
This is the second edition of Our Haunt, and the first edition was released on Itch in April 2019. The core system it is built on, and the game itself, have both been playtested extensively before the final release.
Call of Cthulhu Adventure & Setting Guide
By New Comet Games
Corsairs of Cthulhu, Fighting Mythos in the Golden Age of Piracy, is a 7th edition Call of Cthulhu© adventure and setting guide for the Golden Age of Piracy, 1650 to 1730. This guide contains everything you need to run your favorite role-playing game in one of the greatest settings in our history. It also contains over a dozen scenarios that can be run as a full length campaign or as individual one-shot games. In addition, there are several other plot hooks that can be fleshed out quickly for more adventures. What lies in the depths? What horrors await in the uncharted waters and strange islands not yet explored by man? Are you ready to face the greatest terror to ever roam the earth? Join the crew, hoist the Jolly Roger, prime your pistol and sharpen your cutlass. It’ll take more than luck to save you today.
Awfully Cheerful Engine Adventure
By EN Publishing
WE MAY NEED ANOTHER HERO
Strap on your shoulder pads, check your ammo, and rev up your dune buggy, because things are about to get post-apocalyptic!
Can the Heroes save Paradise City by stealing a vital medicine from the Saint, the ruthless warlord who is hosting a big tournament called the Lectric Buggalu?
Choose from new Roles like the Driver, Gladiator, and Mutant. Crash and bash in dune buggies and armored semi trucks, and explore a blasted wasteland in this new adventure for the Awfully Cheerful Engine!
Powered by The Awfully Cheerful Engine. To use this adventure, you will need a copy of A.C.E. #1l The Awfully Cheerful Engine!
Pathfinder (1E) Adventure Path
Varisia’s newest heroes have stumbled across a powerful relic from the ancient empire of Thassilon—yet the artifact has been sundered into seven fragments. The third of these fragments lies in the swampy Mushfens south of the city of Magnimar, hidden within an ancient, towering lighthouse known as the Lady’s Light. With squabbling boggards, troglodytes, and other swamp monsters dwelling around the ruins, approaching the Light will require either stealth or bravado. But the threats posed by slimy and scaly humanoids pale in comparison to the exiled Gray Maidens who have claimed the interior of the Light as their new headquarters, or to the sinister curse that afflicts the powerful, ancient caretaker of the ruin.
- This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Shattered Star Adventure Path and includes:
- “Curse of the Lady’s Light,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 5th-level characters, by Mike Shel.
- The sadistic secrets of the Gray Maidens, a militaristic order once fiercely loyal to an evil, deposed queen, by F. Wesley Schneider.
- The secret ways, peerless techniques, and ancient traditions of Torag, stern god of the forge, protection, and strategy, by Sean K Reynolds.
- Alchemy and housebreaking in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Bill Ward.
- Four new monsters, by Levi Miles, Sean K Reynolds, and Mike Shel.
This print-on-demand product includes an additional 11 pages of material originally released exclusively as a free web supplement, available in print for the first time.
5E Dungeons & Dragons Supplement
The Troubled Vale is a 5e supplement which aims to help you save prep time and impress your players.
This product offers you a ready-to-use location, which you can drop in any setting, along with detailed encounters that can become an daventure. All of this supported by maps, to complement your game without the need to prepare.
Here’s a summary of what you get in this product:
- 23-pages PDF gorgeously laid out with amazing artwork
- 1 location with lore
- 4 detailed encounters that can become an adventure (4-6h of gameplay)
- 3 new stat block
- 1 new magic item
- 1 custom artwork
- 4 battlemaps with ~40 versions (night, rain, etc)
- 1 regional map
Cthulhu Eternal Jazz Age Scenario
By Cthulhu Reborn
“To Touch The Untouchable” is a short standalone investigative scenario set in H.P. Lovecraft’s notorious college town of Arkham, any time in the 1920s or 1930s. It can be played with access to just the open-source Cthulhu Eternal Jazz Age SRD which (for convenience) we have bundled with the scenario. The adventure also comes with digital versions of all props and maps, to make it easier to run on a VTT of your preference.
About the Scenario: The Protagonists are engaged by the family of a young Arkham woman, Gertrude Pettingill, who has mysteriously gone missing. A pious and obedient girl, Gertrude is seldom seen anywhere apart from the Miskatonic University Campus (where she studies) and the Arkham First Baptist Church (where she attends Bible-reading class two nights a week as well as services on Sunday). Her sudden disappearance baffles everyone … not least the Arkham Police. But fortunately the Pettingills have some friends or associates — the Protagonists — who know their way around a mystery.
This is the first in our “Miskatonic Mysteries” line of self-contained scenarios set in the fictional part of Massachusetts invented by Lovecraft for his evocative tales of cosmic horror.
Three Times the Mythos: To give the GM a range of different options, this scenario features three different possible Mythos backstories underlying the curious events portrayed. Choose whichever of the options appeals to the preferences of your individual gaming group, or re-run the scenario multiple times with different weird forces at play each time around.
TinyD6 Core Rulebook
By Gallant Knight Games
Only You Can Save The World!
Get ready to join the clandestine world of spies, as you join C.O.V.E.R.T. and fight against D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R.!
Powered by the TinyD6 engine, with streamlined mechanics that utilize only one to three single six-sided dice on every action, characters that can be written on a 3×5 notecard, and easy to understand and teach rules, Tiny Spies is great for all groups, ages, and experience levels who want to enjoy fast and accessible action espionage gaming! Characters are created quickly, with a simple power selection system designed to be fast, intuitive, and easy to understand.
New archetypes feature in the book, as well as rules for gadgets, chases, background traits and all the minimalist tools you need!
So grab some dice, some pencils, some friends, and get ready for some minimalist, straight-forward, superspy roleplaying!
Tiny Spies is a complete game and is compatible with most other TinyD6 games.
Issue 006 (28 pages) is our February issue featuring:
- Reviews of Shiver, Liminal, and VTTs.
- Vampire the Masquerade Scenario: Life Goes Sideways.
- Articles on Safety Tools and why you should use them.
- Plus our regular columns, Players Guide & Behind the GM Screen.
Rules & Scenario Microgame
By sometimes knot
IT’S SUMMER, 1976. You’re at the historic Dakota Drive-In, a 450-car outdoor cinema that’s hosting one of its popular all-night horror movie marathons. Perhaps you work there; or just as likely, you’re a local who’s out to enjoy a simple evening’s entertainment. Whichever is the case, you want this marathon to go off without a hitch. Fate, alas, has other plans…
In 197X: Defend the Dakota, you play one of a number of people who are attending (or working at) the Dakota Drive-In on the eve of a well-attended quadruple-feature in the Greatest Decade of All: THE 1970s! When the Dakota comes under attack, you and your fellow characters – though you may be of disparate backgrounds and may not even know one another – must band together to protect the drive-in, keep its patrons safe, and (perhaps most importantly) keep the marathon going until dawn!
197X: Defend the Dakota is the first title in the upcoming 197X series of microgames based on Jason Tocci’s 24XX SRD. 24XX games are super-slim, self-contained, lo-fi RPGs generally consisting of three pages and a cover.
In 197X, players inhabit the Polyester Decade as ordinary citizens caught up in bonkers situations; when called upon, will they rise to the occasion and embrace their heroic destiny or will they end up deader than disco?
Super High School is a RPG of teenage superheroes, for all ages, but specially designed for the youngest of the house or for those who wish to get into role-playing games.
Where participants live exciting stories in a high school, while learning to control their powers and protect the defenseless. In this game you will be able to live action-packed stories thanks to a game system that uses six-sided dice, simple but effective.
Choose what type of hero you want to be: a guardian with a magical item or a mutant with incredible powers. Perhaps the son of a god or the offspring of a demon. You can also be the child prodigy capable of creating incredible armor or an apprentice of the arcane arts. You may be called more by the silent Rebels or you may prefer to be an alien.
What type of hero do you want to be? You can choose among a large variety of characters: You may go in for playing either a guardian with a magical item or a mutant with exceptional powers. You can be the son of a God or even the offspring of a demon. You can live as the prodigy child able to create amazing armor or as an apprentice of the arcane arts. Become a silent rebel may be what strikes you most. Or you are an alien who joined Super High School from a far galaxy.
By Emperors Choice Games & Miniatures C
The wait is over…
Here is Arduin, the renowned fantasy role-play system, totally revised and reorganized. This is both volumes of the “Compleat Arduin,” it contains book 1 rules and book 2 resources.
- Step-by-step character development, with three complete examples.
- A modular format, allowing use of part of the system with many other popular role-playing systems.
- More than two dozen fully-developed character classes.
- Twenty-two distinct character races.
- Comprehensive conventions for handling the development of split-class characters.
- New, simple and fair rules for awarding experience.
- Comprehensive rules for the use of magic.
- A complete description of the Arduin Battle Factor combat system, including all you need to conduct realistic melees.
- Over 125 melee and missile weapons, including random critical hit and fumble modifiers.
- Over 50 different kinds of armor.
- Rules for a variety of firearms, including pistols, rifles, automatic weapons, muzzle-loading cannon, modern artillery, and energy weaponry.
- A new, simpler system for sequencing combat.
- Price lists for most anything your character might want or need.
…and much, much more to include bonus materials such as as the errrata, Doomguards, Arduin Courier Service, Travel in Arduin, The Art of the Deal, Multiversal Trading Company, Highwaymen & Slaver Classes.
This was the first real attempt to get all of the Arduin rules into a cohesive easy to use book. Put together by Mark Schynert to carry on the Arduin torch for David A. Hargrave and at the time Grimoire Games. A difficult task indeed. This version of Compleat Arduin is provided in the way it was presented originally in 1992, only the cover and title were changed.
By The DM Tool Chest
Crucible Magazine is an exciting monthly full colour magazine available in digital and print made for the fifth edition of the world’s greatest tabletop roleplaying game!
Taking our cues from the magazines of the past, but putting in our own modern twists, each issue will contain over 80 pages ram packed with unique game ready content for the whole table!
· Are you a DM lacking time to prepare each session and want fully fleshed out adventurers ready to run?
· Wish you had more marvellous magic items and monsters with stunning artwork at your fingertips?
· Are your players always looking for those new class options to fit exactly the kind of character they want to play?
Crucible Magazine provides all of that… and more!
Each issue is packed with content including:
· FOUR Complete Adventures, including a monthly continuous adventure path
· Custom hand-crafted maps for every adventure
· Handouts, NPC artwork, and other assets available in digital format
· New Monsters and Magic Items
· Player Options such as New Subclasses, Backgrounds, and Feats
· A 4 Page full-color comic with every issue
· and MORE!
5E Dungeons & Dragons Setting
By Bardzilla Games
New Ashton is a thriving town located deep in the Wastelands, the ashen remnants of the wars of a bygone era, and now it’s yours to drop into any campaign!
Practical & Concise Guides are published under the Patronage of House Blackwell for the citizens of all the major cities to understand what goes out in other areas of the kingdom, and beyond, and now they are available to you too!
The guides work as a fantastic tool in your GM kit, but also work as handouts for your players.
New Ashton: A Practical & Concise Guide is the second release in my Practical & Concise Guide series – locations to quickly drop into any TTRPG setting, including local lore, adventure hooks, a map, details on demographics and governance, merchants, and more!
Included is a 3 page A4 PDF, and a single page, A3 foldable zine.
Traveller / Cepheus Engine Supplement
By Independence Games
Independence Games is proud to present the third edition of our career catalog, Diverse Roles. This book presents 21 career tracks for use in building Clement Sector characters. These include careers such as Belters, Clergy, Marines, Politicians, Scavengers, Scientists, and much more. While these career tracks are specifically designed for use with Independence Games’ Clement Sector setting, they can also be used with any Cepheus Engine or 2d6 SF RPG.
This volume also includes our non-random character generation system.
Within these pages are the tools to allow your players to create characters from a wide variety of careers. Some are honest jobs, some are illegal professions, and yet others are those which tread in both worlds.
Fantasy Core Rulebook
By World Serpent Games
For Honor and For Glory! is an action-adventure medieval fantasy role-playing game designed for one to four players and a Chronicler. The game requires only polyhedral (20-sided) dice, the sourcebooks, character sheets, and paper to play. The game was designed for all levels of player experience, from long-time role-players to people who have never played a game of this sort before. A player needs only creativity and imagination for a character to thrive.
For Honor and For Glory! is generically set in a High Middle Ages setting mimicking culture, material culture, art, history, and folklore from roughly the 7th century through the 13th century A.D. For Honor and For Glory! is a game of courtly intrigues, Viking raids, cut-throat nobles maneuvering against one another, holy wars called by the theocracy, and much, much more. It is intended to be primarily a high-drama game, driven by the creativity and ingenuity of the players.
During this period in history, there are several technologies that we, in the modern day, take for granted in our popular understanding of the period. For these reasons, For Honor and For Glory! seeks to capture the technological essence of combat and warfare during the period with this perspective in mind: every tool has its use, and every task has a tool.
Every weapon technology was created to improve on its predecessor or to counter a specific advance in armoring. For Honor and For Glory! is designed for a style of medieval roleplay in which shields are shattered, helms are dented, and spears are splintered. Different weapons, which are each a distinct technology, serve different functions to counter particular combat situations. A mace excels at damaging both the opponent and the armor of that opponent, whereas light blades like daggers will not prove effective against heavily armored foes. Specific types of shields also have specific uses and are often used as much for attack as defense. These facets, combined with the Action Point and Providence Point systems, make combats feel more deadly, dramatic, and engaging for players.
In terms of game mechanics, For Honor and For Glory! uses a free-form magic system in which a caster is limited in effect only by the imagination of the player and the limits of the character’s mind, body, Skills, and magical Power. Magic can achieve great works and cause widespread destruction, but each time a caster channels magical energies beyond their ability, they face the possibility of losing some of their connection to the mystic forces they draw upon. Therefore, the most powerful magic-users have learned to be larger than their legend, instead of the other way around, and do not take openly magical roles in war, politics, or religion. Better that they keep their powers a secret, lest their service be demanded by nobility and kings.
The Player’s Guide has all of the information you need to create characters with rich detail for the Story you’re playing in. All character creation details such as Background Traits, Flaws, Skills, and Talents are included, as well as all basic arms, armors, shields, miscellaneous equipment, mounts, vehicles, and ships. The complete mechanics chapter will explain all rules relevant to playing the game, including the use of magical spells and mystical rituals.
151 color pages. PDF format with Bookmarks defined for easy reference!
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